Art without boundaries.
Graffiti is a strange form of art. Previously considered as vandalism, it is now considered a cult art form, a method of expression. It has come a long way from kids mucking around with spray cans. Street art is all inclusive. It is art with no boundaries, it’s art that has broken the monotony of museums and stiff rules and spilled onto the streets.
Here are some of the best festivals all over the world that celebrate street art at its best.
1. Upfest Europe, Bristol
When: July 23-25
Upfest is a multi-venue urban festival with the 1.3km stretch and is probably your best bet to check out the coolest talent in street art in Europe. The multi-venue urban setting has given the festival it’s transient feel, with visitors encouraged to explore and find whats around the next corner. Bristol is also home to the most popular street artist in the world, Banksy and Upfest does sweet justice to bit of history perfectly.
2. Pow! Wow! Hawaii, Honolulu
Centered around a week-long event in Hawaii, POW! WOW! has grown into a global network of artists that come together every year to participate in one of the most kick-ass street art festivals around. If you’ve heard of SXSW, then you will probably know of the insane street art that the festival is known for. POW! WOW! Hawaii is one of the major collaborators for this and most of the artists part of this community also participate in SXSW. POW ! WOW! Hawaii’s main festival takes place during Valentine’s Day week in February in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, and brings over a hundred international and local artist together to create murals and other forms of art.
3. Bloop Festival, Ibiza
When: July 16-August 16
Art is not something that you think of when one says Ibiza. Yup, visions of hedonistic music festivals are probably what come to mind. And that is exactly what makes the Bloop Festival so amazing. Bloop Festival has managed to give the place a completely different identity, of walls splattered in the most thought provoking paints. Having previously welcomed the likes of Martha Cooper, Phlem, Emilio Cejalvo, Xavi’s Lab and Montse Nadal to name a few, the free festival which enables artists to work within Ibiza’s natural surroundings and turn them into something completely differen as each year the festival adopts a social theme.
4. Graffiti na Gradele, Croatia
When: July 27 – 29
Graffit na Gradele is what a street art festival should be like. It’s got everything, graffiti writers, DJs, skaters, musicians, young artists and urban culture lovers in an amazing atmosphere. The festival is about letting all kinds of creativity flow and attracts some of the most talented people from around the world for it. Other activities will take place in the House of Culture Bol, cafe Batuda and the Bol summer theater. To attend the festival, you just need to show up, as the entry is free, and so is the entire program.
5. Mural-Ist Festival, Istanbul
Street artists from around the world descend upon Istanbul every year for one weekend, to kick off the city’s third Mural-Ist Festival in Kadıköy district. The festival aims to bring a splash of colour to grey walls across the neighborhood and this year artists have traveled from countries including Spain, Russia and the US to take part in the giant mural-painting session.If you drop by, you’ll get a chance to see how a colorless street in a small district can turn to art.
6. Chale Wote Street Art Festival, Ghana
When: August 18-21
The Chale Wote Street Art Festival also known as Chale Wote is an alternative platform that brings art, music, dance and performance out into the streets. The festival targets exchanges between scores of local and international artists and patrons by creating and appreciating art together. Since 2011, Chale Wote has included street painting, graffiti murals, photography, theater, spoken word, interactive art installations, live street performances, extreme sports, film shows, a fashion parade, a music block party, recyclable design workshops and much more.
7. MIAU Fanzara, Spain,
When: July 16 – 19
Over the past two years, this small village 50 miles north of Valencia has quietly transformed itself into the street art capital of Spain, with more than 40 murals by some of the country’s top street artists tucked among its beige and grey walls. MIAU, an acronym for The Unfinished Museum of Urban Art (pronounced ‘meow’), is how the village went from hating graffiti to making it part of their culture. The basic idea is that, the entire village is an open museum and you are free to display your art on the previously boring walls. The result is a stunning combination of murals from some of the best artists from all over the world.
8. Ayia Napa Street Art Festival, Cyprus
People who choose the streets as their gallery often prefer to communicate directly with the public at large, free from the perceived confines of the formal art world. The festival urges urban dwellers to transform public places into more intimate, creative and personal spaces through art, to implement their idea for given buildings. The artists have complete freedom of expression. The only request is to fill the walls up with messages brimming with positive messages. The festival is strongly supported by the Mayor of Ayia Napa as well, due to which it has grown to be an international festival.
9. Lake Worth Street Painting Festival, Florida
This is probably the best festival to go to if you want to witness crazy street art. Quite literally, street art. The streets of Lake Worth become the canvas for the wackiest art you have ever seen that includes 3D paintings. The festival usually welcomes more than 600 artists from around the United States to transform the pavement into a giant canvas. The artists — ranging from middle-schoolers to retired seniors, from novices to veterans of the chalk create more than 250 drawings, each one as jaw dropping as the next.
10. St + Art Festival, Mumbai and Delhi
When: Dates on website
The festival is turning the dreary, pale walls of India’s biggest cities into masterpieces. St + Art is the ideal platform for artists to come forward and paint the town red, blue, green and pretty much every other colour. In addition to the street art, the festival hosts multiple other events related to art and art culture. From performances and film screenings to stencil making workshops, pop art exhibitions and street walks, the event is loaded with a lot of activities in the appreciation of art.
11. Rishikesh Street Art Festival
The country’s cities can often feel like inert spaces of bricks and walls. Beautifying these surroundings are the people behind the Rishikesh Street Art Festival in the city of Rishikesh. Taking the spirit of street art much further, Rishikesh Street Art Festival has quietly instigated an art movement in the city of Rishikesh, since last year.
12. Street Art Chennai
The southern city comes alive when Conquer The Concrete takes hold of it. CTC holds a crazy street art festival that aims to reclaim urban spaces from their present bland state. Expect mural art and massive graffiti spread out across the entire city, brightening up all the odd corners. With art in the public space, Chennai will be a more attractive and pleasant city of the 21st century: more attractive for tourism and commerce, but the most important, more attractive for its own citizens.